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No Carmelo, no problem–Raymond Felton leads undermanned Knicks to blowout of Heat

Posted By Michael Burke On Dec 6 2012 @ 11:30 pm In New York Knicks | No Comments

The last time the New York Knicks faced the Miami Heat, they rode to a 20-point victory behind 30 points and 10 rebounds from Carmelo Anthony. However, before tonight’s match up against the defending champions in South Beach, Carmelo Anthony was ruled out with a deep finger cut.

It didn’t matter.

In what served as proof that their opening night victory was no fluke, the Knicks once again defeated the Heat by 20 points, this time without Carmelo.

And because of his absence, New York knew that the scoring load was going to need to be picked up by someone else, and thus turned to Raymond Felton.

Felton led the way with 27 points and seven assists, while five other Knicks added double digit points.

Perhaps the most impressive part about this victory for the Knicks is the fact that all signs had pointed in their opposition’s favor; the Knicks were playing the second game of a road back to back, were without Carmelo Anthony, and the Heat were ready to avenge a terrible loss to the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.

It might only be early December, but this game should be as encouraging for Knicks fans as it is discouraging for Heat fans.

This isn’t the same Knicks team that barely broke the .500 mark the past two seasons, nor is it the team that was bounced in just five games by the Miami Heat. No, this team is for real and they are here to stay.

Playing without their superstars isn’t as big of a deal as it was the past two seasons; there was no Carmelo Anthony tonight, and both Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert are still weeks from returning. But, as stated earlier, it simply did not matter.

With guys like Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Tyson Chandler, Ronnie Brewer, J.R. Smith, Rasheed Wallace and Steve Novak, it is obvious this is an extremely deep team that can survive without its superstars. Now, clearly, this won’t last into the postseason, and it won’t have to–Carmelo should return on Saturday, while Shumpert and Stoudemire will both be back during this winter.

The New York Knicks sent a message tonight, one that the rest of the NBA will be receiving loud and clear: this team is a legitimate contender to not only win the Atlantic Division, but to win the Eastern Conference. The scariest part? They’re only going to get better from here on out.

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